Based on what I saw at Toys R Us, board games are going the way of T. Rex.


Will the time come when industrial designers realize that users would like control buttons and knobs that can be read without a flashlight? Eight-point light grey letters on black doesn’t cut it.

Also, get off my lawn.

10 December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

In the Charlie Brown comic in today’s local rag, Snoopy is trying to get into the Winter Olympics in Grenoble. They took place in 1968.

Please make it stop.

27 November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

Don’t go shopping.


Uber and Lyft are nothing more than gypsy cabs with a front office.

19 November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

Of all the mindless fads–pet rocks, chia pets, low-profile tires–the one that most beggars the imagination is the sudden fascination with kale.

13 November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

If “Reality Television” represents reality, I needs me some LS and D.


Anyone want to start a pool on when Republicans will attempt to impeach President Obama for the high crime and misdemeanor of being Not White*?


Roy Edroso anticipates the random words.


*Regardless of whatever random words they use, that is at what they take offense.

04 November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

Really, what’s the point*? The races are finished, done, over with. All we are waiting for is the accounting.

I’ll read about the returns in tomorrow’s local rag. The results likely won’t change much from now to then.


*Maybe beer is the point. I don’t drink beer.

Any Scotch is better than every anything else.

26 October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

If the ads for adult diapers flooding my telly vision are any indication, America is is drowning in an epidemic of incontinence.

It must be a real pis–oh, never mind.

All seriousness aside, assuming that Republican diaper fetishists have not taken over my telly vision, those ads are a clear attempt to create a market where none exists.


The new make-up that the cosmetic companies are pushing is even worse and an even more transparent attempt to create a market where none exists. Give me a diaper over blood-red vampire lipstick any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

18 October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

The “tablet-fication” of websites is a plague and a curse.

Dumbed down becomes SOP, the lowest common denominator rules, and Buzzfeeders rule the world.


16 October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

Why do some campaign types think that I would be interested in emails “From: [somebody]’s iPhone”?

It’s not cute. It’s not clever. It’s not even mildly amusing.

It’s stupid and silly.

07 October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

How many folks fall for the shysters who try to sell them subscription renewals for publications to which they do not subscribe?

I got one today to renew my subscription to a newspaper that is not my local rag. (It’s the local rag for folks who live on the other side of the James.) It’s good rag, but it’s not my rag, and I’m not ponying up $360+ for it.

05 October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff, Personal Musings

According to El Reg, Facebook wants to be your doctor.

The company – in recent months – has apparently been considering the development of “preventative care” apps. Additionally, it has also been locked in tentative talks with medical bods and entrepreneurs, the news wire reported.

Facebook wants to swerve criticism about privacy, apparently, by releasing its first health app under a different name, which New York’s drag community might shrill at given the recent backlash the social network suffered over anonymity.

In this case, “M. D.” means “More Data.” Facebook is looking for new ways to spy on you so as to better serve you–better serve you ads, that is.

Why people who willingly run naked through Facebook and Google and their like scream their heads off about the NSA without seeing the contradictions is beyond me.

01 October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

In There’s a House in the Land (Where a Band Can Take a Stand), Shaun Mullen revisits the 1970s, that armpit of a decade that gave us leisure suits, adjustable rate mortgages, and, ultimately, Ronald Reagan. He tells of his time living at a group home (no, not that kind of group home–a home in which a group of persons drawn together by coincidence and the need for a place to live resided) on a farm in southeastern Pennsylvania The names and places have been changed to protect the innocent, but the events come alive in this memoir.

The book opens with Shaun’s arrival at the farm and closes with his departure. Other than that, it is in no way chronological, but, rather, thematic, focusing on the persons who lived at and visited the farm and the events they shaped and which shaped them. Shaun brings them to life, drawing you into their lives in this episodic narrative.

Were you to try to outline the book in a “topic outline” (remember topic outlines?), it would appear to ramble. It winds from gardens to goats, from music to musings, from parties to pub crawls. The lack of chronology leads to a sense of timelessness, as if the farm were suspended, like Brigadoon, in its own time and place.

The memories, though, are not all happy and the people are not all nice. There is death and injury and sadness, as comes to all lives, all told matter-of-factly and humanely.

Despite its generally light-hearted tone, the book is tinged with darkness. It is peopled with Viet Nam veterans recovering from that pointless, stupid war; wounded souls fleeing broken homes or relationships, transients passing through looking for their own healing spot. Some of them find it; some don’t. All become real.

Read the book.


Thanks to YouTube’s new practice of force-feeding advertisements, I have realized that I will never ever do business of any sort with “Mass Mutual,” nor wear “Android Wear.”

25 September 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

The word “homeland” has a poisoned history. I’ve never liked it, as I have documented elsewhere in these electrons.

Thom discusses its creepy history.

14 September 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

According to the pastor of the Union Street Brick Church, He didn’t. We did. A nugget (emphasis added; also feel free to substitute “fate” or ‘karma” or some other term if the word “God” gives you discomfort):

One minute we’re accusing the government of being stupid and incompetent, the next we’re generating stories of super-controlling plans to bring about slavery and the end of democracy. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.

If God doesn’t hold us responsible for things we do when we’re crazy, then what about when a whole society, or societies, goes crazy together? To ask the question Firesign Theatre asked 43 years ago, “Are we all bozos on this bus?”

I say we are. I think we have exceeded our capacity to act rationally in our own best interests (the premise of capitalism), or to act with love in the interests of others (the premise of Christianity). We are failing to take responsibility for our actions as humans, and we are of a mind to blame God for all of it. To destroy ourselves and the world God gave us, and to blame God (for what? for giving us life and what was a paradise in the first place?) is the height of smug paranoia, and it can only lead to further destruction.

Sometimes, random bad stuff just happens. Too often, persons do bad stuff because they think that harming others will benefit them.

There is such a thing as evil, and it is man-made.


The persons who do bad stuff concoct elaborate theories to convince others and themselves that they are doing good stuff. Such theories are commonly referred to as “the Laffer Curve,” “Libertarianism,” “Reaganomics,” and “Neoconservatism,” to mention but a few examples.

11 September 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

Having an Amazon account has from time to time been useful, but I must find a way to send all email from “” to /dev/null. Amazon has found a way to make the Nigerian email scam look like a model of internet integrity in comparison.

In other news, if I receive another email from a Democratic cause marked “Urgent” or with a subject line starting with “Re” when there is no “Re” or wanting a $3.00 contribution, I shall scream. I won’t stop supporting Democrats, because I live in the real world, but I shall most certainly scream.

25 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

American Exceptionalism, n.: The propensity of the United States of America and its citizens to except themselves from accountability for their actions. See Viet Nam, Nicaragua, Granada, slavery, Jim Crow, asbestos, tar sands, fly ash, Halliburton, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, NSA, CIA, Ferguson, Birmingham, British Petroleum, Monsanto, DDT, honey bees . . . . .